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Mary Queen and Mother Center
Mary Queen and Mother Center is seeking to hire a full-time Director of Nursing. Responsible for coordinating, directing, staffing, controlling, and evaluating a 24 hour program of nursing service to meet the needs of the residents. Directs all nursing activities to ensure quality care for all residents. Maintains work schedules to ensure the nursing department is adequately covered at all times and that work is performed in a safe and timely manner. Assures the needs of the residents are met by hiring qualified personnel, and terminating nursing employees according to policies. Assists with the activities of the medical director, staff physicians, and medical consultants as needed. Assists in the planning of in-services and identifies staff development needs for nursing personnel. Assists nursing supervisors with assessment and evaluation of resident needs, personnel issues, and staffing. Graduate of a professional nursing program with a current Missouri state license. Knowledge of federal, state, and local regulations governing extended care facilities including knowledge of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) process and Medicare regulations including Prospective Payment System (PPS).Minimum five years nursing experience in long term care. 

Allan Standberry,, Cardinal Ritter Senior Services, 314-918-2254,



DuBourg House
DuBourg House is seeking to hire a full-time licensed Nursing Home Administrator for its assisted living facility. The Home Administrator manages and is responsible for all on-going functions of the ALFs, ensuring that all residents receive appropriate care and treatment and enabling the facility to retain licensure from the Department of Health and Senior Services and/or Department of Mental Health. Responsible for ensuring 24 hour protective oversight for all residents, through the provision of adequate staff coverage. Leads resident screenings and decides upon admission. Distributes medication, if necessary. Must be Med. Level 1 trained within six months of hire, have a current and valid Missouri Nursing Home Administrator’s license, or be able to acquire one within 90 days of hire. An associate’s degree is required and a Bachelor’s degree is preferred. Management or supervisory experience is required. Experience working in an assisted living facility preferred. An ability to hire, direct and manage. Must be able to move intermittently throughout the workday. Must possess a high degree of interpersonal relations skills and capability of relating to a variety of people and personalities. Prepares and administers annual budget. Monitors and maintains cost control. 

Allan Standberry,, Cardinal Ritter Senior Services, 314-918-2254,



Cardinal Ritter Senior Services
Functions as LPN/RN for one of the CRSS Assisted Living Facilities. Is responsible for ensuring the general well-being of residents and clients through the delivery of high quality services in a manner that complies with applicable state laws and regulations. She/he is responsible for the management and supervision of all resident care within the residential/assisted living facility and assists in providing client care as requested by the administrator. 

Allan Standberry,, Cardinal Ritter Senior Services, 314-918-2254,



Pyramid Home Health Care
Do you have a friend or family member needing assistance with household chores or personal care? Would you like a new career helping people age at home? Pyramid Home Health Services has the job for you. We will beat other provider’s hourly pay rates and you will receive up to 80 hours of bonus paid time off. Additionally, both full and part time employees earn paid time off at Pyramid, up to 80 hours annually. You can take this paid time off or choose to take it as additional pay. Full-time employees of Pyramid also receive six paid holidays annually and medical insurance for $30 per month. Start your career today. Call 1-800-699-1746 or visit our website  and apply online. Pyramid Home Health Services is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/AA.

Mary Tripp,, Pyramid Home Health Care, 573-339-1864,

Health & Wellness


January 17 - 1:00 p.m. at Missouri Baptist Medical Center
Monthly Caregiver Classes for those caring for their loved one.  Classes provide personal and professional insight from BJC employees who care. No charge for the class or materials. Medication Management and Nutrition is offered January 17th at 1:00 p.m. at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. Other topics for the year include: Supporting the Caregiver, Home Care Choices and How to Find Assistance at Home, Practical Tips for Day to Day Home Care, Cancer Caregivers and Legal Matters. For more information or to register, call 314-996-LIFE (5433).

Cara Lotspeich,, BJC Home Care Services, 314-205-8600,



February 5 - 10:00 a.m. at Autumn View Gardens Assisted Living
We invite you to personally experience great flavors and warm feelings on Sunday, February 5th at 10 a.m. with Culinary Service Director Alex Veliz. In addition to a delicious brunch, you'll learn the benefits our residents receive from our nutritional strategy. Please RSVP by Feb.1st at or call 866-255-9088.

Susan Press,, Autumn View Gardens Assisted Living of Creve Coeur, (866) 255-9088,



February 24-26

Trout Lodge
Getting back on track with your health & wellness begins at YMCA Trout Lodge, as they are holding their annual Women's Wellness Weekend on February 24-26. There are over 70 classes from which to choose; workout sessions, crafts, dutch-oven cooking, gardening, paintball, high adventure and the list goes on. There will also be fun group activities including a wine tasting and live music with dancing, as well as vendors on site for shopping. Rates include lodging, meals and the activities you choose. Visit to view the registration page which lists all of the classes and activities. Perfect for women ages 18 to 118 of all abilities, spend the weekend increasing the health of your mind, body and spirit. Grab all of the females in your life and join the fun.

Melissa Di Fiori,, YMCA Trout Lodge, 888-386-9622,



Extended through January 31, 2017
The open enrollment period to obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act starts November 1, 2016 and extends through January 31, 2017. Every American is required to obtain health insurance, either through their employer or through a state or federal health insurance marketplace, or face a penalty. Yet, there are a number of changes to the ACA landscape that may impact both individuals and employers as they plan for 2017. Will consumers have fewer choices now that several large insurers have announced they are dropping out of the marketplace?  What can consumers expect to pay, as premiums, co-pays and deductibles are all expected to increase?  How does the federal subsidy work and who qualifies?  What penalties might consumers pay if they fail to obtain coverage?  What conditions must exist for an individual to be exempt from the ACA coverage requirements? As an official Navigator for the Health Insurance Marketplace, the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging (MEAAA) can provide answers to these and many other questions surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Call 636-207-0847. 

Joan Berkman,, Face Watchers, 314-726-3484


Tuesdays and Wednesdays at The Village at Mackenzie Place
Free Health Screening with a Parish Nurse. Insurance information not needed. Measure your blood pressure, weight, blood sugar levels, and pulse. This free service is offered at Lutheran Senior Services at The Village at Mackenzie Place, 8520 Mackenzie Road, Affton, MO 63123. Tuesdays 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For more information, call 314-884-7909.

Melita Hodzic,, Lutheran Senior Services, 314-884-7909


Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Hylton Point
You are invited to participate in a weekly free wellness screening. Screenings for individuals over 55 include: blood pressure readings, weight check, blood sugar readings, as well as prayer and spiritual support by a Lutheran Senior Services Parish Nurse. Every reading is taken by a Wellness Kiosk with print outs available to take to your doctor. Don't miss this free resource today. Hylton Point Apartments, 933 Belt Ave, St. Louis, Mo 63112. Mondays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call Savanna to make an appointment 314-367-7697.

Savanna Little,, Lutheran Senior Services, 314-367-7697,


Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at LSS Rose Hill House
Take control of your health and take control of your life. Wellness Kiosks are specialized computers operated by our Parish Nurses. The kiosks measure blood pressure, weight and blood glucose levels. With our LSS Registered Parish Nurse on hand in the kiosk, you can stay on track with your health. This free service is now being offered at LSS Rose Hill House, Affordable Housing for seniors, every Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. located at 225 West Rose Hill Avenue in the beautiful heart of Kirkwood, MO. Call 314-822-4928 for your appointment today.

Vanessa Fakes,, LSS Rose Hill House I & II, 314-822-4928,



Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Hilltop Manor
Hilltop Manor, a Lutheran Senior Services senior community is offering free wellness screenings with a Parish Nurse. Screenings include blood pressure readings, blood sugar screenings, and pulse and weight checks for all seniors 55+. A Parish Nurse is also available for prayer, spiritual support and resources. Many who are already taking advantage of this program are aware of the positive benefits it brings to their health. Please pass this on to any family or church members, friends or home health aides that may be interested. Call Michelle Herrick, Service Coordinator, for your appointment. Every Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 636-938-6442, 11 Hilltop Village Center Drive Eureka, MO 63025.

Michelle Herrick,, Lutheran Senior Services, 636-938-6442,

Lectures / Cont. Education


January 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Chesterfield City Hall
Chesterfield Police to offer AARP Smart Driver Course on January 25. Graduates can receive discounts from auto insurance carriers. In a cooperative effort with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the Chesterfield Police Department is hosting an AARP Smart Driver Course. The AARP Smart Driver Course is a research-based driver improvement class that provides tips to adapt and compensate for changes as a result of aging. The course also teaches valuable defensive driving skills, rules of the road refresher, and safety strategies. The four-hour course is taught in a single morning session and does not involve a test. AARP members can attend the course for a nominal fee of $15.00. Non-members can attend for a fee of $20.00. Graduates of the course may be eligible to receive a discount from their auto insurance carrier. Please verify this with your individual auto insurance carrier prior to registering for the course. The course will be held on Wednesday, January 25 from 9:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. at Chesterfield City Hall, located at 690 Chesterfield Parkway West. Reservations are required to attend the course. For further information or to make a reservation, please contact Officer Paul Powers at 636.537.6769 or email at

LIsa Bobrzynski,, City of Chesterfield, 636-537-4727,



January 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at CenterPointe Hospital
CenterPointe Hospital cordially invites you to attend a free continuing education seminar on the topic "Let's Express Ourselves": An Overview of Music Therapy in Mental Health Treatment, to be held on Friday, January 27, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. with registration and continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m., at CenterPointe Hospital 4801 Weldon Spring Pkwy, St. Charles, MO 63304. 1.5 Social Work CEUs will be awarded. General Public also invited to attend. RSVP at 636-477-2157 or email

Sheila Hunt,, CenterPointe Hospital, 636-345-6150, 



Offered by Home Instead

In an effort to insure people with Alzheimer's and other dementia receive the respect and dignity they deserve while out in the community, Home Instead Senior Care offers FREE Alzheimer's Friendly Business training. Visit and click on the Take the Training tab (about 30 minutes), or contact Laura McCoy for in-person training (about an hour) to complete the two year certification. 636-477-6025 or The City of St. Peters and the St. Charles County Library District just competed the training! Help make your community Alzheimer's Friendly.

Laura McCoy,, Home Instead Senior Care, 636-477-6025,

Arts & Entertainment


January 16 to March 31

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Chesterfield City Hall
The city of Chesterfield will be hosting an Art Exhibit at City Hall, located at 690 Chesterfield Parkway West, beginning January 6, 2017 through March 31, 2017. The exhibit will be on display in the City Hall lobby, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays, and will feature two-dimensional artwork, including mixed media, paintings and photographs from established regional artists Ann Croghan, Dan Esarey, Lisa Crisman, Pratima Murali and sculptor, Adam Long. A guided tour of the Art Exhibit will be offered on Tuesday, January 17 at 10:00 a.m. The tour will cover general overviews to in-depth explorations of the current exhibit and will last between 45 to 60 minutes. Chesterfield Parks, Recreation & Arts will host an Artist Reception on Friday, January 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at City Hall. The reception will offer an intimate setting for art enthusiasts to meet the artists and an opportunity to discuss the inspiration behind their artwork. The event is free to attend and light hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served. .

Lisa Bobrzynski,, City of Chesterfield, 636-537-4727,



January 17 - 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Pere Marquette, Grafton, IL
Join us for a fun-filled day of viewing bald eagles along the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. The iconic American bird provides visitors with an up close and personal look at its winter habitat. The day includes a chartered bus for transportation, continental breakfast, overview of the eagles and birding, step-on guided eagle and bird tour of the area and a fabulous family-style lunch at Pere Marquette, including fried chicken, sides and dessert! Sign up early because space is limited. The cost is $59 per person and includes transportation, continental breakfast, eagle watching and lunch. We will leave from the North Pointe Aquatic Facility, 335 Holloway in Ballwin at 8:00 a.m. and return around 3:30 p.m. For any questions, please contact Stephanie at 636-391-6326 ext. 401. 

Lisa Bobrzynski,, City of Chesterfield, 636-537-4727,


January 26 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Schafly's Bottleworks

The St. Louis Banjo Club will provide a free evening of lively music played on "America's fun instrument- the four-string banjo". Sing along and listen to 15 banjo players playing the songs you know. Schafly's is located at 7260 Southwest (at Manchester), St. Louis, MO 63143. For more information, call 314-842-3185 or visit our website: Table seating and full cash bar with snacks on January 26, 2017, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Don Dempsey,, St. Louis Banjo Club, 314-842-3185,



February 7 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at West County Family Y
Love is in the air and so is a little friendly competition. Join us for the Valentine BINGO Senior Sizzler on Tuesday, February 7 at 1:00 p.m. at Delmar Gardens in Chesterfield.  Delmar Gardens will call the game and hand out prizes to the winners. Light refreshments will also be provided. To reserve your seat, call 636-532-3100 or go to Sponsored by Delmar Gardens in Chesterfield & Chesterfield Villas.  Free to all.    

Lisa Bobrzynski,, City of Chesterfield, 636-537-4727,



March 14 - 1:30 p.m. at West County Family Y
Parade of Costumes, a Senior Sizzler fashion show on Tuesday, March 14 at the West County Family Y.  Featuring handcrafted costumes from the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis this event will showcase close to 25 outstanding costumes and fashions worn in the Repertory Theatre productions and modeled by the Backers Board Member volunteers. Don’t miss this fun first-hand view of these works of "art," while learning about the "magic" of the theatre! The show begins at 1:30 p.m., followed by a dessert sampler. The event is free to attend, but you must register in advance. To reserve your seat, please call 636-532-3100. 

Lisa Bobrzynski,, City of Chesterfield, 636-537-4727,



January 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
You are invited to our North Wing open house at West County Care Center. Enjoy Wine and Cheese and enter to win wine themed prizes on January 20, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 312 Solley Drive, Ballwin, Missouri 63021 Happy Holidays and we look forward to meeting you. Please RSVP by January 6th by phone 636-391-0666 or by email Rachel at, or Kelly at  

Kelly Arnold,, West County Care Center, 636-391-0666,


January 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Women’s March on St. Louis will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in downtown St. Louis. The march will begin at Union Station and proceed down Market Street, ending at Luther Ely Smith Park with a rally and volunteer fair. Coinciding with the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., this demonstration and others throughout the country intend to show a united front in the fight for the rights of women and other marginalized groups. Everyone supporting women’s rights is encouraged to attend this free event. For more information on the march, rally and volunteer fair, check out the group’s event page at: 

Valerie Brinkman,, 314-329-4377,



Enrollment period lasts until January 31, 2017

Bilingual Navigators are available to assist with health insurance market place enrollment until January 31, 2017. The Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period lasts until January 31, 2017. Free appointments are available with trained assisters who are fluent in: Bosnian, Spanish, Swahili, Vietnamese, Russian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Albanian, Dari/Farsi, Arabic, French, etc. Other languages available upon request. Since 2014 Bilingual International has assisted with general marketplace enrollment. Trained assisters can answer questions, gather needed documents, submit applications, enroll in health plans and assist with filing appeals. Experienced navigators are available for Q&A sessions as well as outreach. Call Bilingual International at 314-645-7800 to schedule an appointment and learn about your options or visit . Background Bilingual International Assistant Services, a not-for-profit 501c3 organization, was established in 2002 to help the foreign-born and has expanded to assist US-born seniors and adults with disabilities to navigate the intricate system of care. Funding was provided by the Missouri Foundation for Health, working to generate and accelerate positive changes in health.

Jeannine Cinco,, Bilingual International Assistant Services, 636-541-5162,



Scheduled to open May 2017
New BJC Hospice House opening soon! Evelyn’s House, scheduled to open May 2017, will provide a holistic approach to the emotional, spiritual and physical care of terminally ill patients of all ages, offering therapies for complex symptoms or respite in a home-like setting. Located adjacent to Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in Creve Coeur, Missouri, Evelyn’s House, is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to the community. The 18,000 square foot ranch-style hospice house will offer warm, comfortable surroundings where hospice patients can receive specialized care that involve family members and caregivers. Features include: 16 private suites for adults, teens and children walkout patio off every suite, hospice specialized care team, family gathering spaces with overnight accommodations, dedicated music, expressive therapy rooms, family kitchen and café, meditation room and garden.  Visiting hours are 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Leading edge communication and safety. Kids and teen activity rooms, natural and comfortable surroundings. Visit our website at

Cara Lotspeich,, BJC Hospice, 314-872-5050



Mondays at 10:00 a.m. at St. Louis Bridge Center
The St. Louis Bridge Center is pleased to announce it has moved to a new, larger facility at 1270 North Price, Suite D, St. Louis, MO. 63132, on December 27, 2016. The new facility will be able to handle continued growth, with room for 100 tables, compared with 75 in our former facility. We are taking advantage of the new space immediately by adding a few games in January, including a beginners chat game on Mondays at 10:00 a.m., which allows inexperienced players with fewer than 20 master points to get immediate advice from a director during the game, and a Friday game for players with up to 200 master points. You do not need to be a member to play in any of our games, and, if you don’t have a partner, we’ll find you one.

Sharon Sweet,, St. Louis Bridge Center, 719-963-1580,


New distribution agreement with GrandCare Systems
Gray Matters Alliance announces it has formed a strategic distribution agreement with digital health, socialization and remote monitoring leader, GrandCare Systems. GrandCare is the most comprehensive activity monitoring, social connection and telehealth platform on the market. Designed in 2005 for the senior and disabled population, GrandCare seamlessly combines a wide variety of wireless activity, smart home and telehealth sensors, paired with a large, intuitive touchscreen appliance connecting the resident with family, friends and service providers. The touch interface offers HIPAA compliant video chat, medication reminders, music, games, photos, letters, reminders, schedules, caregiver check lists, videos and more. The resident does not need to know technology to utilize it. The GrandCare system is customizable to fit any situation: aging in place, Home Health Care Agencies, Senior Housing Communities, Hospice providers, Hospital-to-Home and more. It provides seamless care coordination, remotely monitors vitals and well-being of all patients/residents at a glance, enhances resident/patient experience, increases revenue, provides better staff efficiencies, and avoids readmissions and more. To schedule a demo please call 314-266-2678. 

Vicki Spraul,, Gray Matters Alliance, LLC, 314-266-2678,



Receives $5,000 donation from AT&T
The Mid-East Area Agency on Aging, whose Meals on Wheels program provides 2,700 nutritious daily meals each week to homebound area seniors throughout the region, announced it has received a $5,000 donation from AT&T to support its annual Big Wheels for Meals Campaign. The month-long campaign is scheduled for March 2017 and is led by local business and political officials, including AT&T-Missouri President John Sondag. Sondag is serving as an honorary chair of the campaign along with John Beck, General Manager of Emmis Communications, and John Sheehan, General Manager of CBS Radio. Those interested in providing support or volunteering should contact MEAAA at 636-207-1323 or

Joan Berkman,, Face Watchers, 314-726-3484

Honors & Recognition


Ted Gottlieb
Ted Gottlieb, REALTOR®, has earned the distinction of being the first real estate professional in The State of Missouri to become a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®.  The Society of Senior Advisors holds each CSA® accountable to be "committed to ethical behavior and the knowledge required to benefit senior clients and their families". Ted is also; Member At Large, Breakthrough Coalition; Member of The City of Chesterfield’s Older Adult Task Force; Foundation Board Member Mid East Area on Aging, NORC Volunteer; Associate Member Social Workers In Long Term Care. Ted’s other notable designations include: Certified Seniors Housing Professional (CSHP); Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®); Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS); Certified Residential Specialist (CRS); Masters in Residential Marketing (MIRM), Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Ted has been a licensed real estate agent in The State of Missouri since 2003 and is a Broker-Salesperson with more, REALTORS®. He ranks in the top 5% in production of all active real estate agents in the St. Louis area. 

Ted Gottlieb,, MORE, REALTORS®, 314-690-9922,

Support & Counseling


February 25 at the Pallottine Renewal Center

Daybreak, a retreat, for grieving couples finding strength and support from one another. Daybreak, available at no cost to the participants, is open to couples who have experienced the death of a child at any age, not only those who were served by BJC Hospice. Saturday, February 25 at the Pallottine Renewal Center in Florissant, MO.  Daybreak encourages communication and partnership while helping grieving couples find strength and support from one another. This retreat provides couples with an atmosphere of understanding from other couples who have experienced a similar loss. Daybreak is a safe space for couples to share their feelings and experiences while honoring and remembering their child. For more information or to register, call 314-953-1676 or email

Cara Lotspeich,, BJC Hospice, 314-872-5050,

In Search Of...


BJC Hospice
A small gift of your time can make a big impression on someone’s heart. BJC Hospice is always in need of adults and teens to donate their time and volunteer. Apply online or call: St. Louis area call 314-872-5050, Farmington, Missouri call 573-760-8550, Sullivan, Missouri call 573-468-3630, Alton, Illinois call 618-463-7100.   Hospice patients can be adults or children, and volunteers provide valuable support to patients and their families. Volunteers can help in numerous ways by supporting patients and families so they can continue to live life to the fullest or helping within the office to support the staff. The amount of time you volunteer is your choice, and you are guided each step of the way with on-going training and support from our volunteer coordinator. 

Cara Lotspeich,, BJC Hospice, 314-872-5050,



Lutheran Senior Services
Paying bills, balancing a checkbook, or reading mail can become challenging for many reasons. Lutheran Senior Services Volunteer Money Management is looking for volunteers age 21 and older to help older adults living in St. Louis City and North County manage these financial tasks. Knowing that the bills are paid and the checkbook is balanced gives many people peace of mind. We receive many requests for Volunteer Money Management services and there is always a demand for additional, caring people to become involved. Two hours a month is needed to help an older adult in your community remain independent. For details, please call Laural at 314-446-2474 or visit our website at

Laural Crues,, Lutheran Senior Services, 314-446-2474,



Preferred Hospice
Preferred Hospice is seeking caring individuals to serve as direct patient volunteers. We invite you to make a difference in the community. You decide how often and in what capacity you want to volunteer. Training is provided, and mileage reimbursement is also available. Volunteer activities may include: friendly visits to patients and families, provide grief support & participate in activities and/or crafts with patients and families. We hope you will consider helping us provide the support our patients and families deserve. To start your volunteer career please contact Tracy Sweazey at 636-527-9330 or email

Tracy Sweazey,, Preferred Hospice Northeast Missouri, 636-527-9330,


Cognitive Improvement

Cognitive and Brain Experts Urge Consumer Caution on Memory Fitness Products

A gathering of the world’s top cognitive scientists first convened in April 2008 for the "Expert Consensus on Brain Health” summit sponsored by the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. The goal was to develop a consensus statement for the public regarding the science behind products claiming to defend against memory loss. The statement has been under development during the past year and is readied just as public attention will be heightened on the issue of mental health with the broadcast of a new documentary series on HBO focusing on Alzheimer’s disease.

“Fear of memory loss, mental impairment and Alzheimer’s disease lead many consumers to search for products - from supplements to software - that claim to ward off such ailments,” Carstensen said. “Such products are becoming more prolific, but this burgeoning industry is completely unregulated and the claims can range from reasonable though untested, to blatantly false. It is important for consumers to proceed with caution before buying into many of these product claims. There is no magic bullet solution for cognitive decline.”

The Summit’s statement points out that “it would wrong to conclude that nothing can be done to improve mental fitness.” But goes on to “strongly encourage research that compares the efficacy and the cost-effectiveness of different approaches to maintaining cognitive fitness.”




·         There is reason for optimism. Cognitive performance in many older adults appears to be improving over historical time. For example, a recent study with a national U.S. sample, found that older people today show less cognitive impairment than earlier cohorts. The fact that so many people do perform well in old age and can learn new skills also shows that positive outcomes are possible. Researchers are attempting to identify factors that contribute to both low and high performance.

·         Although based on plausible biochemical reasoning, to date, clinical research has produced no evidence that dietary supplements such as Gingko biloba enhance cognitive performance or reduce the rate of cognitive loss. Few dietary supplements have been subjected to large randomized controlled trials that have been published in leading journals. We encourage more investigation into potential effects of dietary supplements.

·         Software-based cognitive training and brain games have been shown to improve users’ performance on trained tasks. The important caveat is that very few training programs have shown evidence that such gains translate into improved performance in the complex realm of everyday life. A program might train you to memorize lists of words, for example, but this particular skill is not likely to help you remember where you left your car keys or the time of an upcoming appointment. We strongly support research on software based training and encourage interested people to participate in clinical trials investigating its potential.

·         Consumers should look for products that can substantiate their claims with evidence from research. A study conducted and reported by a company that has not been independently verified has limited value; consumers should look for further studies that have been published in peer reviewed journals. This means that the study design and results have been reviewed by multiple experts. If the study also has been conducted by independent researchers, has been replicated at multiple sites and has been funded by independent sources, these factors add to the credence of the study results. We encourage more independent research on potentially promising intervention techniques and on existing products on the market.

·         Be leery of anyone who claims to cure or prevent Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia or pre-dementia. Any such products would need FDA approval to properly make such claims, and no currently available products have obtained approval. There is no evidence that software products on the market or any other cognitive or social interventions available today can delay or prevent disease. On the other hand, taking good care of your health, especially blood pressure and blood sugar, can aid cognitive performance.

·         Understand that there is a difference between short-term improvements and changes in long-term trajectories. If your goal is to improve your chances of remembering peoples’ names at an upcoming party, there are many proven ways to do this. However, no intervention to date has shown that once undertaken it can reduce the rate of cognitive decline over several years or decades.

·         Learning stimulates the brain and contributes to one’s general sense of competence. However, there is no evidence that any particular formal training or practice regime is required. Before settling on a particular method and investing time and sometimes money in a particular product, consumers need to consider hidden costs beyond dollars and cents: every hour spent doing solo software drills is an hour not spent hiking, learning Italian, making a new recipe, or playing with your grandchildren. Other avenues for cognitive enhancement, such as participating in your community and exploring your passions may also stimulate your mind while producing socially meaningful outcomes.

·         Physical exercise is not only a low-cost and effective way to improve your health but also an important key to improving brain fitness. Scientists have found that regular aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain, and helps to support formation of new neural and vascular connections. Physical exercise has been shown to improve attention, reasoning and components of memory. We view exercise as a promising approach to cognitive improvement and endorse continuing independent research in that area.


From Max Planck Institute for Human Development


Eating To Break 100: Longevity Diet Tips From the Blue Zones

Want to live to be 100? It's tempting to think that with enough omega-3s, kale and blueberries, you could eat your way there.

But one of the key takeaways from a new book on how to eat and live like "the world's healthiest people" is that longevity is not just about food.

The people who live in the Blue Zones — five regions in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the U.S. researchers have identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world — move their bodies a lot. They have social circles that reinforce healthy behaviors. They take time to de-stress. They're part of communities, often religious ones. And they're committed to their families.

But what they put in their mouths, how much and when is worth a close look, too. And that's why Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer and author who struck out on a quest in 2000 to find the lifestyle secrets to longevity, has written a follow up to his original book on the subject. The new book, called The Blue Zones Solution, is aimed at Americans, and is mostly about eating.

Why should we pay attention to what the people in the relatively isolated Blue Zone communities eat? Because, as Buettner writes, their more traditional diets harken back to an era before we Americans were inundated with greasy fast food and sugar. And to qualify as a Blue Zone, these communities also have to be largely free of afflictions like heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes. So clearly they're doing something right.

You can get the backstory in this excerpt of the original book, which was published in 2008. But in a nutshell, Buettner in 2004 rounded up a bunch of anthropologists, demographers, epidemiologists and other researchers to travel around the world to study communities with surprisingly high percentages of centenarians. He and the scientists interviewed hundreds of people who'd made it to age 100 about how they lived, then did a lot of number crunching to figure out what they had in common.

A year after that book was published, the team announced they'd narrowed it down to five places that met all their criteria. They gave them official Blue Zone status: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Ogliastra Region, Sardinia; Loma Linda, Calif.; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica.

In the new book, which was released April 7, Buettner distills the researchers' findings on what all the Blue Zones share when it comes to their diet. Here's a taste:


·         Stop eating when your stomach is 80 percent full to avoid weight gain.

·         Eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening.

·         Eat mostly plants, especially beans. And eat meat rarely, in small portions of 3 to 4 ounces. Blue Zoners eat portions this size just five times a month, on average.

·         Drink alcohol moderately and regularly, i.e. 1-2 glasses a day.


The book also features "top longevity foods" from each Blue Zone, some of which we found pretty intriguing.


Ikaria, Greece

You may remember this Blue Zone from Buettner's wonderful 2012 New York Times Magazine article entitled "The Island Where People Forget To Die."

As we've reported, health researchers have long praised the Mediterranean diet for promoting brain and physical health and keeping chronic diseases at bay. So what makes the diet of the people on Ikaria, a small island in the Aegean Sea, so special?

"Their tradition of preparing the right foods, in the right way, I believe, has a lot to do with the island's longevity," writes Buettner.

And "what set it apart from other places in the region was its emphasis on potatoes, goat's milk, honey, legumes (especially garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils), wild greens, some fruit and relatively small amounts of fish."

Ikaria has a few more "top longevity foods:" feta cheese, lemons and herbs like sage and marjoram that Ikarians use in their daily tea. What's missing that we usually associate with Greece? Lamb. The Ikarians do eat some goat meat, but not often.


Okinawa, Japan

Buettner calls the islands of Okinawa a kind of "Japanese Hawaii" for their laid-back vibe, beaches and fabulous weather. Okinawa also happens to have one of the highest centenarian ratios in the world: About 6.5 in 10,000 people live to 100 (compare that with 1.73 in 10,000 in the U.S.)

Centenarians on Okinawa have lived through a lot of upheaval, so their dietary stories are more complicated than some of the other Blue Zones. As Buettner writes, many healthful Okinawan "food traditions foundered mid-century" as Western influence brought about changes in food habits. After 1949, Okinawans began eating fewer healthful staples like seaweed, turmeric and sweet potato and more rice, milk and meat.

Still, Okinawans have nurtured the practice of eating something from the land and the sea every day. Among their "top longevity foods" are bitter melons, tofu, garlic, brown rice, green tea and shitake mushrooms.


Sardinia, Italy

On this beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterrean, the ratio of centenarian men to women is one to one. That's quite unusual, because in the rest of the world, it's five women to every one man who live that long.

Buettner writes that the Sardinians explain their exceptional longevity with their assets such as "clean air," "locally produced wine," or because they "make love every Sunday." But when Buettner brought along a researcher to dig deeper, they found that pastoralism, or shepherding livestock from the mountains to the plains, was most highly correlated with reaching 100.

So what are those ancient Sardinian shepherds eating? You guessed it: goat's milk and sheep's cheese — some 15 pounds of cheese per year, on average. Also, a moderate amount of carbs to go with it, like flat bread, sourdough bread and barley. And to balance those two food groups out, Sardinian centenarians also eat plenty of fennel, fava beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, almonds, milk thistle tea and wine from Grenache grapes.


Loma Linda, Calif.

There's a Blue Zone community in the U.S.? We were as shocked to learn this as you may be. Its members are Seventh-day Adventists who shun smoking, drinking and dancing and avoid TV, movies and other media distractions.

They also follow a "biblical" diet focused on grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables, and drink only water. (Some of them eat small amounts of meat and fish.) Sugar is taboo, too. As one Loma Linda centenarian tells Buettner: "I'm very much against sugar except natural sources like fruit, dates or figs. I never eat refined sugar or drink sodas."

Gary Fraser, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at Loma Linda University and an Adventist himself, has found in studies that Adventists who follow the religion's teachings lived about 10 years longer than people who didn't. Another key insight? Pesco-vegetarians in the community, who ate a plant-based diet with up to one serving of fish a day, lived longer than vegan Adventists.

Their top foods include avocados, salmon, nuts, beans, oatmeal, whole wheat bread and soy milk.


Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

We'd love to be invited for dinner by a centenarian here, where they #putaneggonit all the time. One delicious-sounding meal Buettner was served by a 99-year-old woman (who's now 107) consisted of rice and beans, garnished with cheese and cilantro, on corn tortillas, with an egg on top.

As Buettner writes, "The big secret of the Nicoyan diet was the 'three sisters' of Meso-American agriculture: beans, corn and squash." Those three staples, plus papayas, yams, bananas and peach palms (a small Central American oval fruit high in vitamins A and C), are what fuel the region's elders over the century.

Granted, it's not easy to emulate the Blue Zoners if you live in the U.S. where you're likely to be tempted with bacon and cupcakes every day. And maybe you don't want to become a vegan.

But Buettner has plenty to say about simple ways Americans could live like these isolated tribes of exceptional health in The Blue Zone Solution. That's what he's focused on now with the Blue Zone Project: helping communities adapt the cross-cutting tenets of a healthful lifestyle. So far, the project has gotten several towns — and U.S. states — to sign on.




Want to Live Longer? Optimal Amount of Exercise

Doing a few hours of exercise every week will probably help you live longer, but doing a whole lot more exercise doesn't provide much extra benefit, according to a new study on physical activity and longevity. Still, doing as much as 10 times the recommended amount of exercise was not linked with an increased risk of dying during the study period. That's good news for marathon runners and triathletes who may have been concerned about the long-term health effects of such high levels of activity. In the study, researchers analyzed information from more than 660,000 people ages 21 to 98 in the United States and Sweden who answered questions about how much time they spent doing physical activity, including walking, running, swimming and bicycling. (These questions were asked as part of earlier research conducted in the 1990s and 2000s.)

            People who got some exercise, but not enough to meet the physical activity recommendations were still 20 percent less likely to die over a 14-year period than those who did not do any physical activity. (The recommendations say to do 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.)

People who engaged in the recommended level of physical activity saw even more benefit: They were 31 percent less likely to die during the study period, compared with those who did not engage in any physical activity.

            But doing a lot more activity than that did not provide much added benefit. The maximum benefit was seen among people who engaged in three to five times the recommended levels of physical activity; they were 39 percent less likely to die over the study period than people who did no exercise. Engaging in more exercise than this was not linked with any additional benefit.

            Although some earlier studies suggested that people who practice extreme endurance training have an increased risk of heart problems, the new study found no link between very high levels of physical activity (10 or more times the recommended level) and an increased risk of death.

            "These findings are informative for individuals at both ends of the physical activity spectrum: They provide important evidence to inactive individuals by showing that modest amounts of activity provide substantial benefit for postponing mortality while reassuring very active individuals of no exercise-associated increase in mortality risk," the researchers, from the National Cancer Institute, wrote in the April 6 issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

            In an editorial accompanying the study, Todd Manini, of the University of Florida's Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, pointed out that the people most likely to benefit from increasing the amount of exercise they do are those who do not currently do any.

            "A lot of the mortality reductions were seen in people only one step away from doing no leisure-time physical activity," Manini said, referring to the group that did some physical activity, but not enough to meet the recommendations.

            Doctors should target this group with exercise counseling, Manini said. "Physicians who seek out the segment of the population that performs no leisure-time physical activity could receive the most payback in their patient's health." The new study relied on reports of physical activity at one point in time, and it's possible that people changed their levels of physical activity over the study period, the researchers said. In addition, the study looked at the time spent engaged in physical activity, but did not focus on the intensity of that activity. That is, it did not directly compare those who engaged in moderate activity versus those who engaged in vigorous activity. But the study did find that people who met the recommended level of physical activity — either through moderate or vigorous activity levels — had a reduced risk of death. In a separate study, also published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers in Australia found that people who engaged in vigorous activity (such as jogging or aerobics) were 9 to 13 percent less likely to die over a six-year period than those who engaged in only moderate activity (such as gentle swimming or household chores). "Our research indicates that even small amounts of vigorous activity could help reduce your risk of early death," study researcher Klaus Gebel, of James Cook University's Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention in Australia, said in a statement. But people with medical conditions, older adults or those who have not previously engaged in vigorous activity should speak with their doctors before beginning an exercise program, Gebel said.


By Rachael Rettner

Social Engagement

Living to 100

About one in 10,000 people seems to be a "slow ager" who lives to 100 -- sometimes even in spite of bad health habits, like smoking or exercising little, according to new research. Will you be among them? You won't know if you're among the genetically predisposed for sure, of course, until those 100 birthday candles are lit. But researchers are discovering more and more clues as to who's on his or her way.


Clue #1: How many elderly relatives are on your family tree?

What it may mean: You may have longevity genes.


At least half of all those who reach 100 have a parent, sibling, or grandparent who has also achieved very old age (90-plus), according to the New England Centenarian Study at the Boston University School of Medicine, which studies 100-plussers to unlock secrets of successful aging.

A 2002 study by the center's director, geriatrician Thomas Perls, found that male siblings of centenarians have a 17 times greater chance of reaching their 100th birthday than other men born around the same time; female siblings are 8.5 times more likely to hit 100 than other females also born around the same time.

Other studies have found that exceptional aging is often clustered among multiple first-tier family members, supporting a genetic link. Having siblings, parents, and grandparents who make it to 100 seems to be a much stronger indicator than counting cousins and other more distant relatives.


Clue #2: How fast and how far can you walk?

What it may mean: You're in good condition for the long haul.


Faster walkers live longer. University of Pittsburgh researchers crunched numbers from nine different studies including almost 35,000 subjects ages 65 or older. The result: For each gait speed increase of 0.1 meters per second came a corresponding 12 percent decrease in the risk of death.

The average speed was 3 feet per second (about two miles an hour). Those who walked slower than 2 feet per second (1.36 miles per hour) had an increased risk of dying. Those who walked faster than 3.3 feet per second (2.25 miles per hour) or faster survived longer than would be predicted simply by age or gender.

A 2006 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that among adults ages 70 to 79, those who couldn't walk a quarter mile were less likely to be alive six years later. They were also more likely to suffer illness and disability before death. An earlier study of men ages 71 to 93 found that those who could walk two miles a day had half the risk of heart attack of those who could walk only a quarter mile or less.


Clue #3: Do you have a lot of people in your life?

What it may mean: Social engagement is a key lifespan-extender.


Countless studies have found that social isolation is bad for your health, while having friends and social engagement is good. One of the more surprising findings in The Longevity Project (a book about an eight-decade study of 1,500 subjects all born around 1910) is that religious women lived longer -- primarily, as it turned out, because of the social connectedness of their faith-based lifestyle. That is, they worshipped with others, joined committees, and engaged in social outreach, from clothing drives to soup kitchens.

"There was a clear, similar trend among people who had civic engagements, were active in their communities, volunteered, and otherwise stayed connected, whether with families, friends, or coworkers," says Leslie R. Martin, a professor of psychology at La Sierra University in Riverside, California, who's the coauthor of The Longevity Project.


Clue #4: Are you a woman?

What it may mean: Odds are more in your favor from the start.


Sorry, fellas. In 2010, there were 80,000 centenarians in the U.S.; 85 percent of them were women, and only 15 percent were men.

It's not entirely clear what's causing the disparity. Theories include the protective role of female sex hormones and menstruation, lower rates of cardiovascular disease for women, and higher smoking rates among men. Men also have higher rates of car accidents and suicide.

The survival gap is gradually narrowing, however, possibly because women are living lives that are conventionally male in terms of stress and poorer health habits, especially smoking.

One bit of good news for men: Those who do reach the century mark are, on average, healthier and more functionally fit than their female counterparts. Women survive medical catastrophes better than men but with more disability.


Clue #5 (for women only): Did you have a child after age 35?

What it may mean: This is possible evidence that you're a slow ager.


Popular wisdom holds that late-life babies are tougher on a mother's aging body. If so, that graying hair mixed with newborn pink or blue reflects a silver lining: According to the New England Centenarian Study, a woman who naturally conceives and bears a child after the age of 40 has a four times greater chance of living to 100 than women who don't. Moms who give birth naturally at 35-plus also make it to 100 in larger numbers than younger counterparts.

It's not the act of bearing a child late in life that extends lifespan, however. Researchers instead believe that being able to conceive and give birth in your late 30s or 40s is probably an indicator that your reproductive system is aging slowly -- and that therefore the rest of your body is likely to be aging slowly, as well.


Clue #6: When were you born?

What it may mean: Growing lifespans give younger people an edge.


A 2011 report by the British Department for Work and Pensions estimated life expectancy for citizens at various ages, providing a snapshot that Yanks can learn from, too.

A British girl born this year has a one in three chance of living to 100; a 2011-born boy has a one in four chance. If you're a 20-year-old woman, you have a 26.6 percent chance; a 20-year-old man has a 19.5 percent chance.

The average 50-year-old woman in the U.K. has a 14.6 percent chance of seeing 2061, the year of her diamond-anniversary birthday; just over one in 10 of her male counterparts will still be around then.

And if you're 99 now? You have a whopping 67 percent chance of seeing another year.


Clue #7: Do you worry -- but not too much?

What it may mean: There's a "healthy" worry level.


It sounds like a punch line: "Be afraid, be very afraid -- but not too much!" So-called "catastrophizers" -- Eeyore-like personalities who fret about impending doom, see the glass as half-empty, and are harshly self-critical -- tend to die sooner, according to psychology professor Leslie R. Martin of La Sierra University.

On the other hand, a moderate amount of anxiety and worry is associated with a 50-percent decreased risk of death in any given year, she says. Moderate worriers tend to be less impulsive, take fewer risks, have less risky hobbies, and plan for alternatives, which may all be protective without adding a negative health impact.


Clue #8: Is your weight normal -- or are you only slightly overweight?

What it may mean: You have better odds of reaching 100 than if you were obese.


A surprising 2011 Albert Einstein College of Medicine study of 477 adults ages 95 to 112 found that these solid-gold agers had no better health habits overall than a comparison group born at the same time that had been studied in the 1970s. One difference: Those in long-lived group were much less likely to be obese.

Both male and female centenarians in the study were overweight at about the same rates as those in the shorter-lived group. But only 4.5 percent of the long-lived men and 9.6 of the women were obese, compared to 12.1 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively, of the younger-lived controls. ("Normal weight" is a Body Mass Index -- or BMI, a measure of height in proportion to weight -- in the range of 18 to 24; "overweight" is 25 to 30; over 30 is "obese.")

This finding echoes other studies showing the greatest risks of death among those who are obese or underweight at age 65 (BMI under 18.5), compared to those of normal weight or slight overweight. A 2011 study at Loma Linda University in Southern California found that men over age 75 with a BMI over 27.4 lived nearly four years less than those with a lower BMI. For women over age 75, a BMI over 27.4 led to a two-year shorter lifespan. Studies of centenarians show that men who reach 100 are almost always lean (more so than women).

Luckily, this clue is one you can control. "Since you can't be sure if you'll live to 100, I wouldn't take the chance of ignoring the lifestyle interventions that we know will at least put you in the half the population who die after age 80 -- starting with watching weight and being sure to exercise," says the senior author of the Albert Einstein study, Nir Barzilai, director of the college's Institute for Aging Research.


Clue # 9: How long are your telomeres?

What it may mean: Many people who live to 100 have a hyperactive version of an enzyme that rebuilds telomeres.

"What-o-meres?" you ask. Telomeres are protective DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that gradually shorten as cells divide. (Pioneering telomere researcher Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California-San Francisco compares them to shoelace caps.) Eventually the telomeres become so short that cells stop dividing, a condition called senescence, creating the effects we recognize as aging in related tissue.

Scientists are still unraveling the key role telomeres seem to play in aging, cancer, and other biological processes, but this much is clear: The longer your telomeres, the more time you're apt to have left. A 2010 Italian study reported that cancer-free people with shorter telomeres were more likely to develop cancer within ten years than those with longer telomeres, for example.

Some studies show that removing chronic stress, not smoking, and eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can improve telomere length. Those centenarians with hyperactive telomere-making apparatus can probably thank their genes, though.

New blood tests are now being marketed directly to consumers, purporting to predict longevity based on telomere length. But critics caution that there aren't standards for measuring telomere length and that there can be such variability in telomeres that it's hard to predict much of anything from a sample.


Clue #10: Are you a positive person?

What it may mean: Emotion influences health, which influences aging.


Some studies have shown that an upbeat attitude about aging adds years. But long-term studies conducted at the Stanford Longevity Center show that emotions, more than attitudes, may be the biologic mechanism at work, says Laura Carstensen, the center's director.

"What's the mechanism at work here? Feeling upbeat about your life means you experience less stress, which in turn affects cortisol levels, which can affect health," she says. Stanford researchers periodically assess 19 different emotions in subjects randomly polled over 1 week at 5-year intervals. Having more positive emotions than negative ones is associated with living longer.

Carstensen is a firm believer that while "slow agers" clearly exist, there's more to their stories than lucky genes. "There's mounting evidence that genes play a role in longevity, but genes play a role in almost everything," she says. "They don't express themselves in vacuums -- there are very complex interactions between genes and lifestyle." So all that advice on how to live to 100? Can't hurt to heed it.


By Paula Spencer Scott

Spirituality / Religion

Where the Evidence Stands: Spirituality and Longevity

Recent research at the highest levels of academic medicine has pointed toward a positive relationship between mind-body interactions, spiritual practice, genuine religious belief and multiple positive outcomes.

For the past 30 years, scientific inquiry by Herbert Benson, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, as well as recent work by Larry Dossey, M.D. and others, has elucidated the effects of meditation, prayer, visualization and other mind-body interactions. Meditation for example, not only creates health-promoting physiological changes, but also leads to the development of a relationship with the divine power within that we call God. When this occurs well-being improves and life is extended.

Spirituality is very important in modern society and is becoming even more so. A recent Gallup poll in fact disclosed that 90 percent of Americans pray on a regular basis and 74 percent consider spirituality to be the most important factor facing our nation today.

In a Newsweek a majority of American adults, 54 percent, reported praying on a regular basis and 29 percent said they pray more than once a day. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they believe that God answers their prayers at least some of the time. Finally, 79 percent said they believe God answers prayers for healing.

The therapeutic potential of spirituality and religion has been the subject of many reviews, dating back as far as 150 years. In that time there have been over 200 epidemiological, sociological and biomedical investigations that underline a positive relationship between religious belief, attendance at worship services and beneficial health outcomes. People with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer and colitis have all been shown to benefit from spiritually.

This powerful research may suggest that lade of a spiritual self-connection or perhaps infrequent religious observance can be regarded as a consistent risk factor for diminished overall health and premature death.

In the literature there are eight longevity studies that include a religious commitment variable. Religion was found to have a positive association with longevity. Indeed, the less religious were found to have mortally levels twice those of the more religious.

Many esteemed medical philosophers of our day have commented on the importance of spirituality and longevity. Deepak Chopra, M.D., the widely-read pioneer in the science of living long and well has stated, "My personal observations of people who live extended lives and more than that, extended happy, carefree lives, is that longevity becomes a side benefit of their own spiritually."

Recently my wife Kirti and I travelled to the holy city of Amritsar in northern India, about 20 kilometers from the border of Pakistan. The city of Amritsar is the home of the Golden Temple, or Harimandir. It is constructed of half-marble and half-gold and is a glimmering sight, vibrating almost as a living entity. Over the past 400 years, songs or shabads have been sung there in the praise of God for 24 hours a day.

On the morning of the third day I awoke with a deep spiritual insight. Like many profound occurrences in life, it now actually seems quite simple. I realized the one true immortal essence of reality. I had a personal awareness of God's creative self and, dearly, it was by His grace. I emphasize the word realize because to realize is more than to study, to understand, to intellectualize or even to know. It is beyond experience.

This realization imbued me with the identity of truth. This truth was the personification of my own spiritually and, beyond that, the awareness that my spiritual essence is the same as that of the creator. In other words, God and me-me and God, are one.

This experience of grace can happen to anyone. Although it can occur spontaneously,it is most often the result of a long-term disciplined spiritual practice, or sadhana. I believe that was the case with me.

Sadhana develops tape or psychic heat and allows positive changes to occur on many levels of existence. The key to it is repetition. Hence the practice of spiritual development is one of dedication. This makes perfect sense because every success involves commitment. Although all roads lead there, Rome simply wasn't built in a day. You don't wake up one morning and decide you want to be a doctor and the next afternoon hang out your shingle. It takes four years of college, four years of medical school, internship and residency. Muslims pray five times a day, Sikhs read five bands or prayers, Orthodox Jews have their morning rituals, Catholics say their rosary over and over again, other Christians read the Bible while Buddhists sit for hours and hours in meditation. Spiritual growth requires a daily practice.

In my own work of consulting with patients suffering from memory loss or chronic pain, and about which I have written in my books Brain Longevity (Warner Books, 1997) and Pain Free (Warner Books, 1998), I have observed the power of spiritual development first-hand. A significant number of my patients has obtained inner peace and true healing through forging a connection with their own soul. This helps transcend mental stress, chronic pain and attachment to illness behavior. Ultimately it allows the recovered to help others recover as well.

There is only one true immortal essence of reality; the Creator who is beyond all time and space. S/he is the doer of everything and is realized through grace. It was true in the beginning, it is true through all the ages, it is true even now; truth shall ever be. To the extent that people are able to tap into that true, divine healing flow of energy and make it their own, they will enjoy a healthier, happier and holier life. If medical intervention is necessary, the outcome can be enhanced. It is also quite possible that making spiritually a priority in their everyday life will bring them the benefit of more years along the way.


By Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

U.S. News - Daily News

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Study finds patterns of biomarkers predict how well people age, risks of age-related disease
1/10/2017 12:00:00 AM Aging Research
Levels of specific biomarkers, or chemicals found in the blood, can be combined to produce patterns that signify how well a person is aging and his or risk for future aging-related diseases... View More...
Risk of long-term disability in older adults who visit the ED
1/10/2017 12:00:00 AM Aging Research
Older adults who go to the emergency department (ED) for an illness or injury are at increased risk for disability and decline in physical abilities up to six months later, according to a study by... View More...
Hour-long naps may boost mental ability for older adults
1/9/2017 12:00:00 AM Aging Research
A study of nearly 3,000 older Chinese adults finds that napping for around an hour after lunch may improve memory and thinking ability. View More...

Who Will Care for the Caregivers?
1/19/2017 5:00:25 AM By DHRUV KHULLAR NYTimes Aging - News
A recent report suggests that society’s reliance on a volunteer army of family helpers — largely taken for granted — is unsustainable. View More...
Getting Older, Sleeping Less
1/16/2017 7:31:22 AM By JANE E. BRODY NYTimes Aging - News
When insomnia persists, it can wreak physical, emotional and social havoc. View More...
Physician Aid in Dying Gains Acceptance in the U.S.
1/16/2017 4:00:34 AM By PAULA SPAN NYTimes Aging - News
Nearly one in five Americans now lives in a state where terminally ill patients may legally choose to end their lives with prescriptions from a doctor. View More...
Funding Disparities Abound in New York’s Senior Centers, Report Finds
1/15/2017 8:00:16 PM By LISA W. FODERARO NYTimes Aging - News
A study of more than 200 senior centers in the five boroughs found sharp inconsistencies in the amounts paid by the city to the nonprofit groups operating them. View More...
The Number of Older Student Loan Borrowers Is Rising
1/11/2017 12:50:53 PM By ANN CARRNS NYTimes Aging - News
Americans who are 60 and older are the fastest-growing group of student loan borrowers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says. View More...
Refreshing a Mother’s Memory With Love and Stories
1/6/2017 3:00:05 AM By JENNY MCPHEE NYTimes Aging - News
An aging woman’s dementia causes her to learn about her family all over again. View More...
Should I Help My Son Use My Friends?
1/5/2017 3:50:37 PM By PHILIP GALANES NYTimes Aging - News
Also, marital divisions of labor, and how to make sure you know if your gifts were actually received. View More...
Elderly and in Prison
1/5/2017 1:08:14 PM NYTimes Aging - News
The advocacy group Release Aging People in Prison writes that unless release mechanisms are used and expanded, the prison population will not shrink. View More...
Mediterranean Diet May Be Good for the Brain
1/4/2017 2:00:03 PM By NICHOLAS BAKALAR NYTimes Aging - News
Aging can shrink the brain, but older men and women who ate a Mediterranean-style diet had less loss of brain volume than those not following the diet. View More...
Why Keep the Old and Sick Behind Bars?
1/3/2017 1:21:21 AM By THE EDITORIAL BOARD NYTimes Aging - News
It would be more humane and cost-efficient to free elderly, infirm prisoners who are unlikely to commit crimes again. View More...
High Blood Pressure May Not Be All Bad in the Elderly: Study
1/17/2017 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: High Blood Pressure May Not Be All Bad in the Elderly: Study
Category: Health News
Created: 1/17/2017 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 1/17/2017 12:00:00 AM  View More...
Common Viruses a Deadly Threat at Nursing Homes
1/13/2017 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: Common Viruses a Deadly Threat at Nursing Homes
Category: Health News
Created: 1/13/2017 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 1/13/2017 12:00:00 AM  View More...
Seniors' Health Can Tumble After ER Visit
1/6/2017 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: Seniors' Health Can Tumble After ER Visit
Category: Health News
Created: 1/6/2017 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 1/6/2017 12:00:00 AM  View More...
Prices Skyrocket on Drugs Widely Used by Seniors: Report
12/15/2016 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: Prices Skyrocket on Drugs Widely Used by Seniors: Report
Category: Health News
Created: 12/14/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 12/15/2016 12:00:00 AM  View More...
The Happy Get Lucky in Their Older Years
12/14/2016 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: The Happy Get Lucky in Their Older Years
Category: Health News
Created: 12/13/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 12/14/2016 12:00:00 AM  View More...
Heart Rate Change When Standing Up Might Predict Older Adult's Death Risk
12/8/2016 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: Heart Rate Change When Standing Up Might Predict Older Adult's Death Risk
Category: Health News
Created: 12/7/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 12/8/2016 12:00:00 AM  View More...
Baby Boomers Going to Pot
12/7/2016 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: Baby Boomers Going to Pot
Category: Health News
Created: 12/6/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 12/7/2016 12:00:00 AM  View More...
Health Tip: Reduce Your Risk of Hip Fracture
12/6/2016 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: Health Tip: Reduce Your Risk of Hip Fracture
Category: Health News
Created: 12/6/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 12/6/2016 12:00:00 AM  View More...
Electronic In-Hospital Prescribing: Trouble for Older Adults?
11/30/2016 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: Electronic In-Hospital Prescribing: Trouble for Older Adults?
Category: Health News
Created: 11/29/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 11/30/2016 12:00:00 AM  View More...
Elder Abuse Often Missed In ER
11/28/2016 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: Elder Abuse Often Missed In ER
Category: Health News
Created: 11/25/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 11/28/2016 12:00:00 AM  View More...
Palliative Care Raises Quality of Life, But Doesn't Extend It
11/23/2016 12:00:00 AM MedicineNet
Title: Palliative Care Raises Quality of Life, But Doesn't Extend It
Category: Health News
Created: 11/22/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 11/23/2016 12:00:00 AM  View More...

Good news! Scientists identify new approaches to treat inflammatory arthritis
1/22/2017 7:30:11 PM Big News Network
Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 22 (ANI): US researchers have identified a molecule required for immune cells to enter the joints that could lead to new treatment approaches for inflammatory arthritis. Re View More...
USSR closed canal and made Iran's Armenians return to homeland: CIA
1/21/2017 3:33:18 AM Big News Network
PanARMENIAN.Net - Following the termination of WWII, the USSR launched a vast propaganda scheme to attract Armenians residing outside the USSR to return to their homeland, a new declassified document  View More...
16 dead as Hungarian school coach crashes in northern Italy
1/21/2017 4:33:27 AM Big News Network
PanARMENIAN.Net - A coach carrying Hungarian teenagers home from a school trip crashed and burst into flames on a motorway in northern Italy, killing 16 people, firefighters said Saturday, January 21, View More...
Man dies shot music video film set Brisbane Bliss n Eso
1/22/2017 11:56:48 PM Big News Network
An actor, aged in his 20s, has died after being shot during the filming of a music video for hip-hop group Bliss n Eso in Brisbane city centre. View More...
Woman posts picture of man paying elderly woman's grocery
1/22/2017 7:31:04 PM Big News Network
Aarron Nichols was waiting in line at New Zealands supermarket Countdown in Aucklands Takanini when he noticed the womans card declined - so he stepped in to pay for her grocery. View More...
Tiffany Trump shows off $725 Stars And Stripes stilettos
1/22/2017 5:28:13 PM Big News Network
The youngest of Donald Trumps two daughters posed with her older brother and flashed a pair of .glittery lace-up flats by Florence-based brand Aquazzura, with an American flag pattern. View More...
Teenagers can't smell sweat so they don't notice it
1/22/2017 3:53:20 PM Big News Network
Adolescents are less likely to notice the smell of sweat, cigarette smoke and soap, according to a new study. Researchers in Denmark tested dozens of common odours on people aged under 50. View More...
Joshua Kushner attends Jared's swearing in at White House
1/22/2017 3:25:18 PM Big News Network
The 31-year-old venture capitalist was seen congratulating his older sibling in the East Room after he was formally sworn in as a senior adviser to Donald Trump. View More...
Parents fury after school pupils were shown gory film
1/22/2017 9:50:16 AM Big News Network
Barton Court Grammar School in Canterbury, Kent has come under fire for playing 15-rated Spanish Oscar-winner Pans Labyrinth to youngsters aged 14 studying the language. View More...
Kids' skiing lessons at Club Med's Pragelato resort
1/22/2017 1:26:12 AM Big News Network
The Mail on Sundays Samantha Simmonds took her husband and three kids - aged eight, five and three - to Club Meds Pragelato ski resort in Italy - and the eldest two coped much better. View More...
Rugby league legend Mark Gasnier in legal war with brother
1/21/2017 11:58:25 PM Big News Network
Retired rugby league star Mark Gasnier (pictured) is having a very expensive feud with his brother over a property trust. He is fighting his older brother Dean over an investment with a Sydney propert View More...
George Michael 'was hooked on sex drug'
1/21/2017 6:49:51 PM Big News Network
Escort Paul Stag said he feared Liquid G, also known as chems and GHB, was in Georges system when he died aged 53 at his home in Goring, Oxfordshire on Christmas Day. View More...
Alan Shearer sues adviser for Pound 6m
1/21/2017 5:29:12 PM Big News Network
Alan Shearer is taking legal action against former insurance salesman Kevin Neal after being mis-sold pension by investing in offshore Fortress International Fund Ltd based in a tax haven. View More...
Breakthrough treatment for rheumatic conditions
1/21/2017 4:56:04 PM Big News Network
A common arthritis drug has been found to be an effective treatment for rare debilitating rheumatic conditions, new research reveals. The trial of 250 patients in 14 countries included the UK. View More...
Alan Shearer sues adviser for Pound 6MILLION
1/21/2017 4:52:01 PM Big News Network
Alan Shearer is taking legal action against former insurance salesman Kevin Neal after being mis-sold pension by investing in offshore Fortress International Fund Ltd based in a tax haven. View More...
Cheshire artist turns childhood toys into exhibtion
1/21/2017 4:51:39 PM Big News Network
Joe Simpson, 32, created the 34 paintings after finding his action hero toys in his mums attic. He said he wanted to evoke the same feeling of nostalgia he felt after seeing the more than 20 years la View More...
Feature SSS is new brand of peoples capitalism
1/20/2017 10:51:10 AM Big News Network
QUEZON CITY, Jan. 21 -With proposed innovations in investments, the Social Security System (SSS) is shaping a new developmental ideology to give the working class an opportunity to be the richest in  View More...
Sharjah's population at 1,405,843 million in 2015, reveals Department of Statistics
1/21/2017 8:12:56 AM Big News Network
SHARJAH, 21st January, 2017 (WAM) -- The Sharjahs overall population is 1,405,843 people, according to results of the Sharjah Census 2015. There are 175,432 Emirati nationals - 86,325 males and 89 View More...
Over 5,000 runners to take part in Sharjah marathon on 21st January
1/20/2017 11:12:22 AM Big News Network
SHARJAH, 20th January, 2017 (WAM) -- Over 5,000 runners are expected to take part in the fifth annual marathon of Sharjahs Friends of Arthritis Patients Association, FoAP, to be held on 21st January. View More...
Mecklenburg County discloses details of Charlotte's MLS stadium proposal
1/20/2017 3:34:30 PM Big News Network
Mecklenburg County released terms of the proposed Major League Soccer stadium on Friday, confirming previous reports by CBJ of a project totaling $175 million for a 20,000-seat stadium and costs divid View More...
A Collierville home is the week's big seller
1/20/2017 1:36:11 PM Big News Network
The winner of this weeks top home sales list was a Collierville property with a seven-figure price tag. Located on North Winding Wood Circle in the Collierville 38017 ZIP code, the 5,500-square-foot View More...
Business: How do I score with this older mama?
1/22/2017 8:36:30 AM Big News Network
There is this lady I am interested in, but I don't know how to approach her. She is 27 and I am 22. I don't know if she will freak out if I ask her out on a date. I have never dated an older View More...
Thousands protest outside Taiwan Presidential Office over pension reform plan
1/22/2017 8:32:59 AM Big News Network
Protesters throw hell money during a rally against the overhaul of the military and civil service pension fund, outside the Presidential Office in Taipei,Taiwan January 22, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu Ja View More...
The family of a man who died aged just 21 are desperately trying to pay for his funeral
1/21/2017 11:50:59 PM Big News Network
The heartbroken family of a man who suffered from muscular dystrophy is trying to raise funds to remove his body from the hospital so they can bury him. Stuart Luce, 21, died at the end of last month  View More...
Historical fiction to sweep you to another time — from the 1930s to the 1980s
1/21/2017 11:49:39 PM Big News Network
, was critically acclaimed and a BC Book Prize finalist. Chang brings her now trademark attention to detail combined with an ability to render characters as vividly human — often painfully so &m View More...
Government readies for massive protest against pension plan
1/21/2017 11:26:09 PM Big News Network
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Around 30,000 demonstrators are expected to protest against pension reform outside the Presidential Palace on Sunday morning, according to a pension reform supervision action allianc View More...
Feds Arrest AFTRA Retirement Fund Exec in Alleged $3.4M Fraud
1/21/2017 11:08:40 PM Big News Network
Federal agents arrested on Friday the former co-head of information technology at the AFTRA Retirement Fund, Enrico "Rick" Rubano, and an alleged co-conspirator and charged them wi View More...
What a gent! David Beckham helps elderly woman after she collapses in the road
1/21/2017 11:07:20 PM Big News Network
An onlooker posted on Twitter: "Was helping an old lady who fell over on my lunch break and guess who drives up to help? David Beckham. That's who. What a gentleman."... View More...
WATCH: Panicky ABC Journo Compares Trump’s Speech to 1930s Anti-Semitic Movement
1/21/2017 8:39:55 AM Big News Network
So they were fine with President Obama openly betraying Israel and the Jewish people, but they picked and pawed through Donald Trump's inauguration speech to find "loaded terms&quo View More...
PM Lee hands out red packets to needy elderly in Teck Ghee
1/21/2017 8:25:43 AM Big News Network
Senior residents in Teck Ghee were greeted with some early festive cheer on Saturday morning when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited the area and handed out red packets ahead of Chinese  View More...
Visualizing retirement goals will help in reaching them
1/21/2017 8:19:41 AM Big News Network
Visualizing retirement goals will help in reaching them I know that visualizing a goal is key to accomplishing the goal but, until last week, I'd never been able to summon any retirement images View More...
Sex for seniors: Retirement home fun if you want it, but keep it private
1/21/2017 8:13:17 AM Big News Network
Should sex be a major consideration for aging Baby Boomers when they decide to move to retirement homes? An international business insurance company is urging retirement homes and  View More...
Insured part of labor pensions in Azerbaijan to be indexed
1/21/2017 8:05:51 AM Big News Network
Status of Azerbaijani offshore oil and gas projects Export of oil and oil products from Azerbaijan with indication of the route Information about the prices on oil and oil products in the c View More...

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